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DEATH TO YOU IN THE HOLLYWOOD MORTUARY! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sep 02, 2004 at 02:00 AM
An interview with Ron Ford about his critically well-received excellent horror-comedy!!
Dark Gallery: What's the basic story behind Hollywood Mortuary?

Ron Ford: Hollywood Mortuary is a mockumentary about a horror make-up artist in Hollywood in the forties named Piece Jackson Dawn. He is fired by the studio he works for when the horror cycle dies out. He is driven mad by his enormous ego, and decides to drum up his own interest in horror. Using voodoo, he revives two rival horror actors from the dead -- characters which are thinly-disguised version of Karloff and Lugosi -- to create a scare in Hollywood. But the two zombified actors are such bitter rivals that their terrible infighting threatens to topple all of Dawn's plans. In keeping with its pseudo-documentary style, the movie is framed with interviews by real celebrities talking about this Dawn character as if from their own experience. These include legendary child star Margaret O'Brien, silent screen star Anita Page, Ed Wood alumnus Conrad Brooks, and cult director, David DeCoteau.
DG: Tell me how Hollywood Mortuary developed?
RF: It began as a short. Kevin Lindenmuth of Brimstone Production approached me about doing a monster short for his "Creaturealm" anthology series. I had been talking with Randal Malone about doing a project for him to star in, since I had relegated him only to minor support parts in the movies before that. He came up with this title, "Hollywood Mortuary," which I loved. So I developed this bizarre tale out of the feelings conjured up by that tile. It wrote itself, very quickly. Then, when the short came out I was very disappointed that the story was not more developed. I loved the story more than any I had written before, and I felt that it had to become a feature-length movie. I discussed the possibility with Brimstone, and we agreed that after his film ("Creaturealm: From the Dead") had been released for one year that I could release a second version of "Hollywood Mortuary." So, over a year later I wrote and shot additional scenes. We completely reedited the entire picture and redid the cheesy special effects at the end of the short version. I am very proud of the results. It is easily my favorite of my movies.
DG: This movie is obviously inspired and a direct ode to the great old high camp movies of the 1950's. Which movies in particular did you draw inspiration from?
RF: Consciously, none, but in retrospect the story is kind of similar to "How To Make a Monster." However, I do think my movie is a little more "in on the joke" than that AIP classic. What I have tried to do is to make sort of a hybrid time warp of various periods of genre movies. We make nods to everything from the classic horror movies of the thirties to the gore-drenched slasher movies of the 80s. I wanted the movie to be an homage to horror films in general, as a genre, not to just one specific movie or period of movies.
DG: How did you partner up with Randal?
RF: Randal was suggested to me by Mark Gordon, the producer of my first film, "Alien Force." He read for a small part I had and proceeded to tell me that I had to make it much larger before he would consider it. I was so amused by his movie star posturing that I did write him a new scene. We got along great, and he and my wife hit it off well, too, so we've been friends ever since.
DG: Can you tell us a little about his career and what he was doing before he started working with you?
RF: Randal is most known for appearing as a regular on MTV's gameshow, "Singled Out" with Jenny McCarthy and Carmen Elektra. He appeared in comic sketches on that show as "Film Star Randal Malone." That's where his "film star" billing began. Randal was also in "Sunset After Dark" with Monique Parent and Margaret O'Brien.
DG: How did you also manage secure all your great b-movie star cameos like Anita and Conrad?
RF: Conrad and I are old pals form working genre conventions. I just asked him to do it and paid a few bucks. Anita and Margaret I got to know through Randal Malone. They agreed to do it out of friendship for us both. They are wonderful ladies, and I will always be grateful for their participation in this project. They give the movie so much more class, history and credibility than it could possibly have had without them.
DG: Will we see a Hollywood Mortuary 2?
RF: I think the story plays out in a satisfying way. I don't have any burning desire to start a sequel. However, if the movie becomes a hit and makes lots of money, I guess I would reconsider.

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